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High Rise: The UltraPlastic Edition

Created by Gil Hova

The tabletop board game about construction and corruption, now with gorgeous plastic buildings

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Officially delayed (boo), but the plastic pieces are turning out GREAT (yay)
about 1 year ago – Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 09:07:19 AM

Hi High Rise backer!

So, first off: I've officially made the call to delay the start of production from July to October. I don't want to manufacture a bunch of games that are just going to sit around in a warehouse, or get trucked from port to port and likely get lost. 

Note that the factory has a lead time of several months, so this means the games wouldn't actually be ready to ship until  March 2022.

Container prices are still ridiculous and still going up, so delaying the print means that we can hold out a lot more easily. Prices are not expected to drop until mid-2022, so it's possible that come October, we may delay a bit longer. But I'll make that call when we get there.

I know it stinks; I really wanted the games to be available this year! But I also want to keep making games, so this is really more a matter of survival.  Still, in a very real way, we're lucky, because at least we don't have the games made yet; many publishers have games that they can't move across the water, at least, not without spending their whole profit margin. So we're in a position to weather this snarl better than most.

The downside, of course, is that whether we wait to print or we print now, we have to wait a few more months for our games.

Let's shift to some good news: I got to play with the UltraPlastic buildings for the first time, and they are AMAZING!

There was a brief bit of drama around these too; the proof for the buildings came to me during the whole Hospitalization Crisis last year, and I didn't check it as thoroughly as a should've. So the mold was made, but with a big error: the tops of the player cappers that were supposed to hold the building height markers were filled in! Oh no!

Thankfully, Panda employs some Very Smart People, and they were able to fix my oversight. The mold has been adjusted, and the player cappers will now hold the height markers. Phew!

Here are some photos from our play session.  I printed out height markers, but I made them too large! The real height markers will be about half the size. Their colors are also inverted from how they will look in the final version; that's just to save printer toner. And of course, we placed the height markers down on the board because we couldn't put them in the buildings yet.

That said, LOOKIT THIS

One thing that the pandemic has taught me is how important it is to keep our "eyes on the prize." It's amazing how few chances I got to play High Rise. It's so easy to forget the charge we get from playing games in-person. I'm so proud of this game, and how well it's come out.

So all of this is a delay, but it's not a stop. Our games are coming! They're just taking, let's call it the "scenic route."

One last thing: if you want a fast answer from me, please email me at info (at) formalferretgames (dot) com. I have a big queue of Kickstarter messages I need to get through, so if you want to jump the queue, do it that way.

There likely won't be a whole lot of news for the next couple of months while we wait out the shipping snarl. But I'll send an update as soon as I have something to report!

Wood bits update, and keeping an eye on shipping...
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 02:19:04 PM

Hi High Rise backer!

Thank you so much for your feedback about the wood bits! 

In the end, you voted OVERWHELMINGLY for helicopter and yacht over the four cars:

Additionally, I got a bunch of really helpful comments that helped come to this mix of bits. The set will have the following vehicles in the following colors:

  • White yacht
  • Yellow helicopter
  • Blue limo
  • Red sports car

Thank you as always for your excellent feedback!

A shipping update

We're getting closer to shipping, but there's some metaphorical "heavy weather" on the horizon. The global shipping chain is in very bad shape. Many companies are feeling the pinch, but small board game publishers like me, who only ship a couple of times a year are especially affected by this.

There's a confluence of reasons behind this - shortage of workers, containers, and ships, increased demand, and COVID regulations. But apparently, with a lot of goods to ship and not many ways to ship them, only the highest bidders are making it onto the boats. 

The result is an unprecedented 547% (!) change in shipping costs. To make this clear: this means if shipping from the factory the warehouse normally costs $10,000, it would now cost $54,7000. That's like an extra print run in and of itself!

Experts are predicting this chaos to last until mid-2022. We're still a few months away from shipping from the factory, but I wanted to give you all a heads-up: there's a possibility our games may have to wait in a warehouse while we wait for a realistically-priced shipment.  We'll know more as we get closer to manufacturing, but I wanted to put it on your radar now.

And to make this clear: this is a challenge that's presenting itself to not just small board game publishers like me, but to every company that ships internationally. Over the next few months, we'll likely see prices for all sorts of goods (including board games) rise to cover these shipping costs. 

This situation stinks, but my plan right now is, if we are facing an enormous price hike, to wait things out. I have no intention of asking backers for more money to cover increased shipping costs; that seems deeply unfair to me. 

If it looks like the delay would take more than a couple of months (if there is a delay, who knows), I'll take a step back and figure out ways to finance a faster shipment. But we don't have to cross that bridge unless we face it.

Things could be far worse, of course. And it's possible some timely government intervention may help alleviate this by the time we get to shipping. I just want to give you all a heads-up as to what may be coming up the road. 

And I know you all know this, but just to make sure it's clear; many other board game publishers on Kickstarters will be posting updates like this. Please don't give them too much grief. This kind of price hike is unprecedented in the past 40 years; hopefully it comes to a quick resolution.

Anyway, we're still in speculative territory right now; let's see what the next few months hold. I hope everything is good with you, and I'll post another update as we start manufacturing!

BackerKit credits updated, and our wooden dilemma!
over 1 year ago – Sat, May 29, 2021 at 01:15:20 AM

Hello High Rise backer!

While things may seem to be silent, there's SO MUCH going on behind the scenes. Heiko and I are working on uploading all the new files, and I'm working to get the logistics smoothed out.

First off, if you added on both the Fancy Bits and the Extra Tenants 2020 expansion on Kickstarter (not BackerKit), you were charged too much money for shipping. I've adjusted that amount and given everyone involved BackerKit credit.

If I missed anything (which is always a possibility), please let me know! 

Our wooden dilemma

For the $100k stretch goal, we are doing wooden Moguls bits. Here's what we originally planned.

Here are the sample wooden bits. We changed the plane to a yacht, because it's a more "realistic" mode of travel for this. Note that we're also going to have smaller wooden bits, not pictured here, shaped like a briefcase and a star for corruption and VP, respectively.

BUT! Heiko feels that having two cars, an aircraft, and a boat is a bit weird. He prefers 4 different automobiles. He suggested switching out the helicopter and the yacht for a sports car and an SUV, respectively. They'd look like this:

So: which way do we go? I've set up a poll here. Please fill it out by June 1, and give me some idea what you'd like. Assume that we will only pick one of these two directions; I'd rather not make both.

Thanks!

We are progressing... not much to update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 11:26:15 PM

Hello High Rise backer,

Progress is slow, which I know is frustrating to folks. But it's happening; I just gave feedback to Heiko on a bunch of graphic design that he did.

Still working on the Pledge Manager stuff. 

In other news, the game is up for a Cardboard Republic laurel. I'll stick this on my virtual award shelf next to SpaceBiff's "hurts so good" nomination.

I will start showing graphic design - and have a Pledge Manager update - soon. Thank you for your patience!

Plastics and proofreading are happening, and we're past our health scare!
over 1 year ago – Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 12:57:38 AM

Hello High Rise backer!

First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your patience through my partner's health crisis. I've been caregiving full-time for the past few weeks, but we're finally at a point where she can start managing her own health and I can start catching up on everything I've missed.

While I've been away attending to family, other folks have been busy! First off, we now have wax proofs for the plastic buildings. Note that the proof pieces are white, but the buildings will be gray; you should be able to make out their detail a little more easily in the final versions.

There was a little tweaking done for these buildings to make them fit in the plastic molds, but I'm really happy with their look. And the fit is perfect; they're just tight enough to fit together perfectly and just loose enough so it doesn't take much effort to pull them apart.

Additionally! Paul Grogan and his team have been working on text revisions in the rulebook, cards, and tiles. All that remains is implementing the changes with Heiko.

One of my next projects is finally - FINALLY - reaching out to BackerKit and making sure we can make all those updates that we've needed to, so you can get your credits.

Thank you again for your patience as we get moving again!